In a world where information is constantly being thrust into your face, it’s hard not to feel like you aren’t as good or successful as your friends, family, co-workers, or even celebrities. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to achieve, someone out there is already doing it, and it looks like they are doing it better. Want to lose 10 lbs.? Your friend Jane who just lost 20 lbs. is posting her wins on Instagram, cute gym clothes included. Want to start your own business? Your former coworker Bob just shared his new consulting website on LinkedIn. Don’t even get me started on the success of celebrities. You are a failure, everyone is doing things that you are trying to do and doing them before you and better than you!
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If you compare yourself to certain people it’s easy to feel like you’re unsuccessful, moving too slow, a failure. That’s the problem with comparisons. No matter how successful you may be, there will always be someone who is more successful. There will always be someone better, or smarter, or wealthier, or who appears happier. But don’t get discouraged, you are more successful than you think!
- You have a few close friends. Even with the popularity of social media and the hundreds or thousands of connections you make online, if you have more than two or three close friends, be glad, because the positive effect of relationships on your life span is double what you get from exercising. Who knew! Having a few close people in your life to be social with, talk about your goals, and who know the real you are more than most people have. Not only does this get harder to manage with age, but the more successful you get, the harder it is to weed out the real from the fake.
- You look at mistakes and failures as a learning tool. Yup, there is something to be learned every time something doesn’t turn out as expected, and if you realize that and grow from it, that’s success! There will always be trials, challenges, and obstacles–but perseverance always wins in the end.
- You have a purpose. This doesn’t mean you have to find the cure for cancer (although that would be amazing) but you’ve found something that inspires you. It feeds your soul, motivates you, fuels your passion, and you are excited to get up every day and work on it. That’s real success – doing something you love, regardless of how much money you make or what other people think. You’re living life your way–and that’s the best sign of success there is.
- You give – not take. There are so many people out there with the “what’s in it for me attitude.” But real success is finding a way to help those around you. It can be offering your opinion or suggestion on a problem area for a business connection or even helping an employee or coworker with completing a project. You don’t seek the spotlight and enjoy when others around you succeed.
There are many ways to be successful – it’s not just about how fast you accomplish something or how much money you make. There’s a lot to be said for just being happy with your life, having a purpose, and having good people to share it with. In a world with so many smoke and mirrors, and Instagram filters, you never really know the truth behind other people’s “successes.” Trying to compare your life to others will leave you miserable and feeling like a failure.